Over the past couple months, as I have been determining how to revive this little blog, I moved my web sites to another host. I thought moving could be a good topic to restart this little blog.
Much like you don’t just pack your belongings and move out of your house, you don’t just decide to pack up your belongings and move your web site. The first thing I needed to figure out why I was moving. Did I need place with a fancy kitchen and extra bathrooms or was I looking to move to something more affordable in the ‘burbs. The two main things I was looking for was the ability to host more than one domain on the same account and a bit more hard drive space. Like all moves, there’s a budget involved. My goal was to find the above without adding to my annual costs. My former host cost me about $50 per year.
So let the house hunting begin. Unlike the search for real estate, you don’t need a broker. However, much like real estate, there are many options. So, how do you find the right host? I honestly don’t know. What I did was look at a fairly popular dreamy host. Their plan looked good, but many of the sites I have visited seemed a bit slow. So, I started looking for hosting reviews. What I found is that many of the review web sites seemed overly positive but, now I at least had a list of potential hosts. I thought I had narrowed my choice down to a farm animal then, I looked at the terms of service.
So, I have some observations. Anything unlimited is not really unlimited. Sure, you can be offered unlimited storage and transfer, but don’t use too much memory or too many CPU cycles. If a host seems sketchy, it is. If a host has public support forms, take a look at them. Those forums can usually tell you at least three things: how often services malfunction, what the technical support staff are like and what your neighbors are up to. Just like you might not want neighbors who are loud, in realm of shared hosting don’t want to have neighbors running services that are going to demand a lot of resources and slow you web site down.
You know what they say… Good fences make good neighbors. The same applies in shared hosting. I considered two flavors of shared hosting: VPS which stands for virtual private server and traditional shared. Shared hosting is when you share one server with many other users, the provider typically manages the operating system, software and services. A VPS host is still shared, you are renting space and resources on a physical server, but you manage the operating system, software and services. A VPS is more fenced in. You should always have the amount of memory, CPU and storage space specified by your host provider.
I chose to stay with a traditional shared host. My budget for hosting doesn’t allow me to “move up” to a VPS. I found a provider who has been in business for 5 years. That’s probably a little on the short side but, everyone has to start somewhere. So far I have not had any problems with my new hosting provider.